Ulu Grosbard


Director
Ulu Grosbard

About

Birth Place
Belgium
Born
January 09, 1929

Biography

A celebrated stage and film director, Ulu Grosbard became renowned for features with intense character studies in which actors give superb performances. Born on Jan. 9, 1929 in Antwerp, Belgium, Grosbard immigrated to Havana, Cuba with his family in 1942. Originally trained as a diamond cutter, the family then relocated to America in the late-1940s. After attending the University of Chic...

Family & Companions

Rose Gregorio
Wife
Actor. Married on February 25, 1965.

Biography

A celebrated stage and film director, Ulu Grosbard became renowned for features with intense character studies in which actors give superb performances. Born on Jan. 9, 1929 in Antwerp, Belgium, Grosbard immigrated to Havana, Cuba with his family in 1942. Originally trained as a diamond cutter, the family then relocated to America in the late-1940s. After attending the University of Chicago and Yale School of Drama and enduring a brief stint in the U.S. Army, Grosbard made his stage directorial debut with a production of Arthur Miller's "A View From the Bridge" on Long Island, NY. He would later earn critical plaudits and accolades for a 1965 off-Broadway production of the same play. He entered feature films as an assistant director working with such masters as Elia Kazan on "Splendor in the Grass" (1961), Robert Wise and Jerome Robbins on "West Side Story" (1961), Robert Rossen on "The Hustler" (1961) and Arthur Penn on "The Miracle Worker" (1962). Grosbard made his off-Broadway directorial debut in 1962 with "The Days & Nights of Bebee Fenstermaker" and triumphed with his handling of the Broadway production of Frank Gilroy's Pulitzer Prize-winner "The Subject was Roses" two years later.

In 1968, Grosbard was at the helm of the feature version that marked Patricia Neal's return to acting after a series of near-fatal strokes and saw Jack Albertson and Martin Sheen recreate their stage roles. His subsequent feature work included offbeat productions such as "Who is Harry Kellerman, and Why is He Saying Those Terrible Things About Me?" (1971), in which Dustin Hoffman was a composer who finds success does not bring happiness; "Straight Time" (1978), again with Hoffman cast as an ex-con; and "True Confessions" (1981) with Robert De Niro and Robert Duvall in a tale of brothers and power. Less successful was the melodrama "Falling in Love" (1984) in which De Niro and Meryl Streep are strangers who meet on a train and eventually find themselves drawn together. After a decade's absence, Grosbard returned to films as producer and director of "Georgia" (1995), a character study of two sisters - the self-destructive no-talent singer Sadie (Jennifer Jason Leigh) and her seemingly perfect sibling Georgia (Mare Winningham (in an Oscar-nominated turn). He followed with "The Deep End of the Ocean" (1999), about a woman (Michelle Pfeiffer) searching for her kidnapped son. The esteemed director would pass away in 2012 late in the night on March 18 or early morning of the 19th (his family was uncertain which) in New York City. He was 83.

Life Events

1949

Immigrated to America

1953

Served in U.S. Army

1957

Stage directing debut, "A View From the Bridge" at Gateway Theater in Belleport, Long Island, NY

1961

Assistant director on "Mad Dog Coll"

1962

New York stage directing debut, the off-Broadway production of "The Days and Nights of Beebee Fenstermaker"

1964

Broadway directing debut, "The Subject Was Roses;" nominated for a Tony Award as Director of a Play

1965

Was production manager on "The Pawnbroker," directed by Sidney Lumet

1965

Earned praise and accolades for directing an off-Broadway revival of "A View From the Bridge"

1968

Film directing debut, "The Subject was Roses"

1971

Directed Dustin Hoffman in "Who is Harry Kellerman and Why is He Saying All Those Terrible Things About Me?"; also debuted as producer

1977

Nominated for a second Tony Award for directing David Mamet's "American Buffalo"

1978

Reteamed with Hoffman for "Straight Time"

1981

Directed Robert De Niro in "True Confessions"

1984

Again worked with De Niro in "Falling in Love," co-starring Meryl Streep

1995

After decade absence, returned to films directing and producing "Georgia"

Videos

Movie Clip

Subject Was Roses, The (1968) - Open, Who Knows Where The Time Goes? Judy Collins’ vocal on Sandy Denny’s then-unreleased composition, first heard as the B-side of Collins’ hit 1968 recording of Joni Mitchell’s “Both Sides Now,” later recorded by Denny and Fairport Convention, nearly overshadows director Ulu Grosbard’s opening, with Patricia Neal, briefly Martin Sheen, and Jack Albertson, in his Academy Award-winning performance, from The Subject Was Roses. 1968.
Subject Was Roses, The (1968) - This Is Where I Came In Jack Albertson as Bronxite John was just trying on the uniform coat brought home by his still-snoozing son, just returned from WWII, when he notices his wife Nettie (Patricia Neal) coming back from morning shopping, character sketching in their first scene together, adapted by Frank Gilroy from his Pulitzer Prize-winning play, in The Subject Was Roses. 1968.
Subject Was Roses, The (1968) - Crazy About Waffles Dad (Jack Albertson) just departing the family Bronx apartment on business as his son (Martin Sheen as Timmy), the morning after his welcome-home from WWII party, converses with his mom (Patricia Neal as Nettie), raising her ire when he deploys one of the old man’s verbal devices, early in The Subject Was Roses. 1968, from the Frank D. Gilroy play.
Straight Time (1978) - The Conditions Of Your Parole Californian convict Max Dembo (Dustin Hoffman, who also co-produced) on the evening of his release, in Los Angeles, then meeting his parole officer Earl Frank (M. Emmet Walsh), and being scolded, early in Straight Time, 1978, from a novel by San Quentin inmate Edward Bunker.
Straight Time (1978) - I Was A Convict Looking for work in LA after six years in prison for armed robbery, parolee Max Dembo (Dustin Hoffman) meets the attractive and approachable Jenny (Theresa Russell, in only her second credited role) at the employment agency, in Straight Time, 1978, directed by Ulu Grosbard.
Straight Time (1978) - You Wanna Rock'n'Roll? Direction by Ulu Grosbard, on the specified location in Los Angeles, co-producer Dustin Hoffman as newly paroled Max Dembo calls prison buddy Gary Busey (accompanied by his own son Jake), whom we discover is married to Kathy Bates, in her second movie role, in Straight Time, 1978.

Trailer

Family

Morris Grosbard
Father
Rose Grosbard
Mother

Companions

Rose Gregorio
Wife
Actor. Married on February 25, 1965.

Bibliography